Do you pick a “Word of the Year” each year? This is something I’ve done for several years (and even make my middle school students do the first week of the New Year). I love this idea — and each year I spend some serious time thinking of a word that touch ALL parts of my life — personal and professional.
And I’m pretty proud to say that I usually stick with my word and come back to it throughout the year when I need a good ole self-check.
Before we get into 2018’s word I wanted to reflect on last year’s word…
So my one word for 2017 was connect. (You can read the full post here)
This was a word that I could apply to myself, my blog, my relationships and my work life.
For example, I wanted to connect more with the local community. In 2015, my blog took a huge turn and I narrowed my niche to more local Louisiana lifestyle. I wanted to make sure in 2017, there was a solid plan in place to hone in on that niche and really connect it deeply with my brand.
I also wanted to connect more through video. It’s no surprise that video isn’t going anywhere… so I knew I needed to get comfortable with being on camera and spending more time on Snapchat and Instastory with you guys.
**And honestly, this was one of my favorite parts of the year. Just the messages we’ve sent back and forth through DMs on Instagram, I feel like I really KNOW so many of you. So it’s an amazing feeling to be able to put a FACE with a reader and know more and more each day who I’m talking to… plus, we really have become friends… through Instagram! How crazy is that!
I also wanted to connect more in real life. Lucky for me, since my niche is local, I have an opportunity a lot of bloggers don’t have and that’s to MEET you/readers in real life. A big product of this idea was the Happy Hour Club!
And the 2018 Word Of The Year is….
Ha… that’s a weird one right? But hear me out!
I know you’ve heard the phrase “life happens outside of your comfort zone,” and as I reflected on 2017 and things that I didn’t accomplish, I realized the reason why: fear
Everything that I’m not doing or not accomplishing is because I’m scared — and it’s OUTSIDE of my comfort zone. Trust me, it’s nice and warm and cozy in my comfort zone.. but I’m not pushing myself in the ways I know would make a huge impact on my life, business, and health because I’m too comfortable.
How It Applies
I’ve heard my trainer yell that our workout doesn’t really start until we’re tired. And if you think about it, if you’re comfortable while you’re working out then you’re not challenging yourself. And you don’t start pushing yourself until you’re tired and uncomfortable.
If it’s comfortable & easy then it ain’t workin’.
Running at 5K is super comfortable now (whoa, never thought I’d say that!) so I need to get uncomfortable and challenge myself. Maybe that means running faster or running further. Maybe a full marathon is on my list?!
Or if you’ve been stuck with the same gym routine, maybe it’s time to get out of your comfort zone and try a new class, or maybe try something more intimidating (like Crossfit!).
Taking a Professional Risk
Maybe there’s something you want to try new at work, but it’s a risk and might not work. Maybe you’re considering changing careers or jobs. Or maybe you’re considering going back to school. Or maybe you want to start your own business! Either way — we will never ever be 100% ready when it comes to our professional risks. Sometimes you just gotta leap out of that comfort zone and make it happen! But if you stay cozy in your comfort zone, then you’re never going to accomplish those things you really want in your career — because usually what we want the most is the SCARIEST thing to do!
The longer you WAIT on taking these leaps and risks, the longer you’re feeding into your fear and staying in your comfort zone, which ultimately doesn’t lead to the success you COULD have.
When it comes to your profession and career goals, your comfort zone is basically where dreams go to die. — You can quote me on that!
Putting Yourself Out There/Making Yourself Vulnerable
Whether it’s asking your boss for a raise, asking someone on a date, or posting that video on Instastory, putting yourself out there can be SCARY! Especially when you’re not sure how people will react.
For me personally in blogging, I want to be more transparent and put myself out there on Instastory/social media more — which is SO out of my comfort zone.
People have told me I seem so comfortable on Instastory, but trust me that’s not always the case. I’m trying to tell myself, if people are invested in what my brand stands for and on this journey for me, then they don’t care how weird/annoying/boring I’m being on Instastory (usually lol)!
When your lifestyle is essentially part of your brand, it can make you incredibly vulnerable at times and open for people to say nasty things about you or to you. But when you have a super amazing community that supports you, it makes those trolls worth it. (thanks, guys!!)
Ahh… procrastination. My worst flaw. I started really thinking about WHY I procrastinate and I realized it’s usually because of FEAR.
I’m scared to work on a project that might fail, I’m scared to email a brand that might tell me no, I’m scared of ALL the bad feelings that MIGHT happen if I fail or face rejection, so I put it off doing BIG things that could move my business forward.
So I stay in my comfort zone where things are safe, and where I won’t face those uncomfortable feelings. But I don’t GROW, which is WAY worse in the end.
So my BIG goal is to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. To be comfortable with hearing the word no. To be comfortable with failing. And to be comfortable with something NOT being perfect.
For 2018, I’m going to focus on spending A LOT of time in my DISCOMFORT ZONE!
Do you have a Word of The Year you live by??